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Tanya Jain

Superhero With Ink:Manali-A Rustic Mind

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Writing a book involves years of hard work, From thinking about the plot to executing it. There is a lot that runs in between. Appreciating all the work a writer does today the superhero badge goes to Manali for her book A Rustic Mind.

Let’s hear the story from her!!

1)Tell us about your recent book.

My recent book is available in the eBook/kindle version on amazon.in and amazon.com. It is a collection of poems talking about issues from feminism to everyday small and big incidents that we never think much about. Here are the links:

  1. com: www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0792D49WX?ref_=dbs_s_def_awm_dirs_l_0&storeType=ebooks
  2. amazon.in:

https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/B0792D49WX/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517979138&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=a+rustic+mind&dpPl=1&dpID=41fyGUrVa2L&ref=plSrch

2)What is your background?

My background is an up and down roller coaster ride. I was born and brought up in Surat and have done my schooling till 12th class from there. I did my Bachelor’s in Management from UPG College in Mumbai, and then went on to do my MBA in Marketing from Amity Global Business School in Mumbai. My first job was in Ahmedabad at a jewellery studio as a PR and Marketing head (which lasted for 11 months)

From there on I went back to studies again by pursuing a full-time MA English Literature course from SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai. On completion of this, I worked as a school teacher at The Millennium School, Surat for one academic year where I taught the English language to 3rd and 5th standard students. The work didn’t excite me much so I quit and came back to my favourite city, Mumbai. I joined an Edutech firm uFaberEdutech where I worked as a Senior Content Writer creating and curating content for courses like Spoken English, Business Communication and IELTS. This was the first job I enjoyed and it started me off on a career which continues even now. However, I realized that a full-time job was keeping my creativity in writing restricted so I quit the full-time job and started off on a freelancing career. At this point in my life, I’m writing everything under the sun from poetry to fiction and from website content to copywriting. Surely a full-time job would not allow such freedom and variety in work!

3)What motivated you to write this book?

Ever since I read my first book I’ve dreamt of one day holding a book with my name on it. This dream became a goal once I gained maturity. The true belief that if you want something, you have to work towards achieving it was the biggest motivation to write this book.

4)What are you currently working on?

Apart from various freelance projects, I’m working on a book of short stories collection and another one which will be a series based on the journey or three friends.

5)When did you start writing?

Professionally I started writing with my first job itself, which was in 2011. In my personal life, however, I have been writing diary entries, poems and stories since the age of 13.

6)Which writers inspire you the most?

Every writer I have read has taught me something new. However, none of the stories has touched me the way The Harry Potter series did; hence JK Rowling remains a top favourite. I like Amitav Ghosh’s and Arundhati Roy’s works too.

7)Any future projects you are working on.

Yes, a collection of short stories and another one will be a series depicting the journey of three friends.

8)What are your hobbies?

Anything that makes me happy becomes a hobby, this could be reading a good book, listening to some good music, following a good series and even travelling to new places.

9)Is there any book you personally love and would recommend all the readers?

The first book I ever read was Black Beauty and it moved me to tears. It remains to be one of my favourites even now. Another book that was one of the most thought-provoking ones I have read is Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

10) Any advice for budding writers.

Read as much as you can.

 

Superhero Of Startup: Mayur & Swapnil- On The Field

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Every Startup involves a great idea and a great effort of people working for it. In our series of Superhero of Startup today the Superhero badge goes to On The Field  that empowers companies to gain visibility and better control while managing their field staff.

So, let’s hear it from the founders.

  1. Tell us something about you and your startup. 

Both of us are software engineers by education, started an IT and Media firm- The Horizon Technologies on 5th October 2013.First 6-8 months were too hectic and we got disappointed many times. But with the financial and moral support from our family we could survive and run the business. By June 2014, we worked with 150+ clients and established ourselves as one of the fastest growing digital agency. In August 2014, we started building a technology product 360Track which was launched in 2016.

Recently, on 15th August 2017, we launched another product On The Field which is a field employee productivity tool. As the name suggests, On The Field offers operational convenience for managing field employees by means of real-time location tracking, meeting updates, order booking and consolidated client records. On The Field empowers companies to gain visibility and better control while managing their field staff.

Employees are provided with an easy-to-use, interactive mobile application which captures and reports real time location data. Employees can submit meeting details and even book products for the clients. All the location data, meeting details and orders are synced online to the server and depicted in an admin panel, which can be accessed by the employer and manager. The admin panel provides consolidated information and the important insights. On The Field’s capabilities expand to Geo-tagged attendance, Meeting scheduling, Client record management and Employee performance analysis.

  1. What was your motivation behind venturing into this?

For marketing of one of our products, 360Track, we employed some 7-8 employees few months back and faced the challenge of managing them. Keeping records of their meetings, schedules, clients, etc. was really a challenging task. Eventually, we hired a manager! But still, it was not getting sorted. We not only lost our money but the crucial time too.

This incident made us develop this app for the entire community of field employees, managers and employers which will offer easy solution at the most economical rate.

Moreover, on a business side, as per records, there are 1.8 Billion field employees worldwide and to the surprise, 85% of them do not leverage technology. To be specific, in India alone, this is a $5 Billion market opportunity.

  1. Give us a brief background about founders and its core team members?

  2. Mayur Dabhade

A technology enthusiast and an entrepreneur, Mayur is Founder & CEO of The Horizon Technologies, Thane. Mayur is well-versed with technology and advertising design on digital platforms. Under his leadership, the company has registered impressive growth with more than 150 clients within 3 years from its inception and today is known as one of the fastest growing Digital Agency.

With the vision of empowering educational institutes, Mayur co-founded 360Track Systems on 23rd April 2016. He works as CEO of the company.

  1. Swapnil Dabhade

A software engineer by education, Swapnil is Co-founder and Business Head at The Horizon Technologies a Digital Agency based in Thane. Very passionate about his work, Swapnil also works as Social Media Strategist & Consultant for Start-up companies.

Swapnil is also a Co-founder and CMO of a tech-startup 360Track Systems.

  1. Who do you see as competition and how is your startup different?

Well, there are few players in the market but as we see, everybody is focusing on large corporates and SMEs are untouched. We are going to cater each and every company, SME and corporate who has got 1 to 100000 field employees.

Moreover, the brand identity, UI of the app and marketing communication of On The Field is going to leave an ever lasting impact on our consumers’ mind, for sure.

  1. What are the revenues and margins like in your industry?

The primary goal while we developed On The Field, was to offer peace of mind and better control over the business for the employer. So, the cost model which we figured out is also in such a way as an employer should not be burdened. We are following SAAS model wherein the employer pays per employee per month basis and the amount is just 1 to 3% of the employee salary!

  1. What are your future plans?

To speed-up marketing and sales of the product we are appointing Sales Partners domestically and internationally. With this, we are looking to foray in 20+ countries within next few months and people are very much interested to take up this product for marketing in their respective regions.

  1. Any advice you want to give budding entrepreneurs.

Whatever we do, try to give the best possible. Be the best; and nothing else!

Superhero Of Startup: Aditya & Jinesh- YourEducare

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Startup culture is taking a boom in every field.The best Startup aims to provide a better facility and what could be better than providing students with proper guidance. Today in our series of Superhero of Startup we have team Your Educare which is one stop portal for all educational assistance.

1) Tell us something about you and your startup.

Your Educare is one stop portal for all educational assistance. We are to enable parents and youth into informed decision making by providing them with a bundled service or you can say a complete solution which they need for decision making because we understand that cost of choosing incorrect profession/institute could lead to disenchantment, unhappiness for the lifetime.

Some of our key features include:

  1. All information at one place:

By Information we do not mean Name, number, contact details or name of courses, by information we mean such information which is required for decision making like Recent results, prospectus, Awards& Honours, bringing genuine reviews, connecting them through social media, Fees etc which one needs to know before making his mind.

  1. Ask your Buddy;

Everyone before selecting any course or institute want to connect with someone who has studied from that institute. So we help them to connect with previous alumni and clear their queries so as to enable them to get an unbiased opinion.

  1. Admission Hassles:

One can leave all admission hassles to us. We will notify them when admission for their interested institutes are open so that they do not miss out on any dates. This solves the problem which is faced by parents specially regarding admission dates of schools.

  1. Personalisation:

We make this process really personalised to you. With this one can actually target, directly their target market on the basis of their education, interests and current profession. E.g  Now if a person is shifting to Mumbai for a job, he will still be updated about events happening in Mumbai as per his interest which save a lot of time in scrolling down feeds and will reduce approximately 80% cost for reaching them.

2) What was your motivation behind venturing into this?

We realised that how uninformed people were while making some important decisions. Usually, education-related questions are answered by someone who has done excellently well in their respective field. Few people understand that this is a really personalised process, there is no straight jacket approach. It’s imperative that students should know about everything which they need to know before decision making. Peer and parental pressure may lead to a dead field. That’s why we came up with this concept.

3) Give us a brief background about founders and its core team members?

CA AdityaDudheria founded it in 2017, Aditya is a single attempt CA passout at the age of 21. He has been a champion in elocution and debate and has won several competitions at various levels. Later he was joined by his friends Jenish Jain who is a textile businessman and CA Janish Jain. Along with that, we have 2 interns.

4) Who do you see as competition and how is your startup different?

Education is highly competitive industry that’s why there is no billion dollar company. We see shiksha, Career 360, India Education, and various small startups and facebook pages running in every city.

We offer people with tools which they require for decision making and help them ease out their hassle. We have features like Ask your Buddy, Personalisation of events and Solving Admission hassles which nobody is offering.

5) What are the revenues and margins like in your industry?

Revenues and margins are great with less cash burning because already a big market exists. What is more important is that we deliver 5 times value to our customers who pay us with every single conversion.

6) What are your future plans?

We want to incorporate certain other segments too which we dropped because of cash crunch and want to expand ourselves to Mumbai, Delhi and Banglore.

7) Any advice you want to give budding entrepreneurs.

If there was a time, now is the time. Go on and believe yourself, because you will find people who will give you hundred reasons why you should not do it. But it only reflects their limited abilities. Go on and do for that one reason. Just remember Blockbuster refused to buy Netflix, Excite refused to buy Google, and there are many other examples. So just one thing, have faith in what you are doing.

 

Superhero Of Startup-Ruhma & Abhinav-ZingoHotels

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A base of the startup is always a dream, a dream to stand out from the crowd, a dream to rise like a star. Then comes the card of passion and hard work. Every startup includes a set of some awesome card which we call team. So today in our series of Superhero of Startup we are featuring team ZingoHotels.

  1. Tell us something about you and your startup.

About Me:- I started my career when I was 18 years old as an HR Generalist with an MNC in Bangalore, I Met my Other Co-founder Abhinav Prashant in an event at IIM-K and then he led and inspired me into this entrepreneurial journey. My first startup YatriCab.com (An Online Car Rental Company) which served more than 1lacs customers. I have Co-Founded 5 Startups earlier and the current venture  ZingoHotels is my 6th Venture. When I started my career at 18 I knew one thing that was to be Self-Independent, I belong to a typical Muslim orthodox family and convincing initially was a tough journey. But Today, they have recognized my efforts and have accepted me the way I am.

About my Startup:-   Zingo Hotels is a data-driven travel Intelligence startup which uses AI for hotel search and discovery, Local experiences and delivers a High-quality personalized guest experience to guests.

  1. What was your motivation for venturing into this?

I have recognized one thing down the line- It is not about Fame or Recognition, Just be Focused and Keep Moving and discovering 1000 things to make it work. Offcourse Bad Things always come for free, Ignore and Be Positive with Life.

  1. Give us a brief background about founders and its core team members?

We are Total 11 Member Team. We are 2 Co-Founders and rest are the team members.

Abhinav Prashant- CEO- comes with over 7+ years of start-up experience. He is a BBA Graduate from SMU. He Co-Founded his first startup YatriCab.com which served more than 1lacs customers and then worked with 2 well-funded startups -TinyOwl where I was handling the complete marketing of Bangalore and then I launched FabHotels in Bangalore. In ZingoHotels I am responsible for the expansion, operational policies, strategic plans, and Annual Operating Plans and dealing with vendors, suppliers & network expansion and also responsible for fundraising.

Ruhma Fathima- COO- I come with the total of 6 years of varied work experience.I have the experience of 1.5 years in HR Sector with Aruba Networks and co-founded multiple Startups such as Delhi based Cab startup YatriCab.com which served more than 1lacs customers, Bangalore based startup name Notarry Media labs which were into Advertisement and had more than 40+ Paid Clients in Bangalore. My expertise is mainly in handling Operations of Zingo Hotels and people management. I also handle the marketing and finance of the company.

  1. Who do you see as competition and how is your startup different?

Our Competitors are Oyo, Treebo, and Airbnb. We are Offcourse Different cos we have a different Model and approach towards the market.

  1. What are the revenues and margins like in your industry?

ZingoHotels has been quite an amazing journey, We started with literally Zero Investments and Touched a Revenue of 1.5Cr in Matter of Just 9 Months Of operations.

We are a Bootstrapped startup and have a decent commission between 20% to 25%.

  1. What are your future plans?

Future is Huge. We are gearing to be one of leading Startup in the Travel Industry with some amazing technology backed to it.

  1. Any advice you want to give budding entrepreneurs.

As a start-up, you want to have everything in the beginning. You are a learner and not an expert. I still don’t see myself as a person who can give advice. In a start-up, you will never know what and where are the resources you need to put in, what and how much back-up you need, etc. As a company, you need to streamline all this. Avoid being vague and illusionary.

 

Superhero With Ink: Sachin- Faith Of Nine

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Every great book we read involves a never-ending hard work, great imagination and hoping up to a fantasy world. Indeed a task of an author is difficult and we can depict it from the book. So today in our series of Superhero with Ink we have Sachin the author of Faith of Nine.

Let’s hear it from him.

1) Please tell us a little about yourself.

I discovered Tolkien in my teens, alternative rock as a new adult and digital marketing in pretty much in my late twenties. These still form a large wedge in my circle of life. Travel, radio and theatre have also figured in that ever-expanding and diminishing circle.

On perhaps a more prosaic note, I am an engineer from BITS Pilani and holds an MBA from Indian School of Business. I am currently based in Bangalore and I spend an inordinately large amount of time chasing after my dog and planning my next escape to the hills. Only when I’m not busy dreaming up fantasy worlds full of monsters. And beautiful Yakshis, of course. I can usually be found ranting on twitter @xenosach or you can always stalk me online: www. sachindevt.com

2) Please tell us about your books.

Faith of the Nine is the first book in my trilogy, Wheels of Janani – and my first published book.

So if you liked Game of Thrones on TV and need your immediate fix of the grimdark and brutal fantasy variety – You should try this one out!

An epic fantasy adventure with themes borrowed from the rich tapestry of Indian mythology and folklore – witness the last chapter of a world called Janani on the brink of an impending apocalypse. And throw into that mix, bloodthirsty Rakshasas, beautiful Yakshis and reluctant heroes.

It’s a brand new fantasy world that combines all those great things you loved about your grandmother’s yakshi-stories, the awe and wonders of our own culture along with the grim grit and dark as made famous by the works of George RR Martin and Joe Abercrombie.

3) Any further books in the plan?

Yes – I am through with the second book in my first trilogy, Wheels of Janani. I am looking to bring that one out.

In the meanwhile, I got selected for Anita Nair’s acclaimed writing workshop last year called Anita’s Attic, where the fever of a new idea gripped me. I am about one-thirds through on that new story and plan to wrap that up by mid-year. It’s another epic fantasy story that messes with your ideas of the dasavatara.

4) One-line advice for budding authors 

If you keep waiting for a good time to start writing, then that day will never arrive! Just start writing already.

  • Quick Trivia around the Author:
    1) Favorite Book – The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
    2) Favorite Food–South Indian, specifically Kerala Cuisine
    3) Favorite Movie – Fight Club
    4) Who inspires you – A lot of SFF Writers out there. Too many!
    5) How can your fans contact you – FB or Twitter Or good old-fashioned email – [email protected]
    6) Your social media pages:

Superhero Of Startup:Arun & Jyoti-greenBUG

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Every startup in the world aims to give a message to the fellow people, a message that says,’dreams do come true if you work on it passionately’. So in our series of Superhero of Startup today we have a couple who made their dream come true.

Let’s hear it from Arun & Jyoti on their journey of greenBug.

1) Please tell us a little about yourself

I am an MBA by education, consultant by profession, and entrepreneur at heart.Arun Balachandran, my partner, has a similar profile. We are both first-generation entrepreneurs.

We started greenBUG as our passion to promote green and responsible living. Now it has become a full-time engagement for us. Whenever there is no rush, we both enjoy quiet time and travel. Walking de-stresses us J

We both are fortunate to have a wonderful circle of family and friends around us. That really helps ride us through times when things don’t happen the way we’d like.

 2) Please tell us about your startup and products. 

greenBUG is a uniquely designed dustbin liner made out of used newspaper and starch glue. Designed as a convenient alternative to plastic liners, greenBUG liners can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, under desks, office rooms, etc.

Our customers love greenBUG’sutility and eco-friendliness. Many of them also appreciate the fact that these liners are produced by homebound unskilled women whom we train. They are able to pick up the skill rather quickly due to the simplicity of the design and process.

Thus, this initiative serves two causes – bringing convenient eco-friendliness to the well-off, and a dignified income to the disadvantaged.

 3) What are the further plans?

EverygreenBUGliner used is one plastic linerless in our landfills. We plan to keep lakhs of single-use plastic liners from polluting our environment.

In the long term, greenBUG wants to be identified as a line of products, which make environment-friendly living convenient. We have just started selling outside Bangalore. New products will be added to the portfolio soon.

 4) One-line advice for budding entrepreneurs.

No matter how well you plan your business, chaos will stare at you almost every day. Beat it.

  • Quick Trivia around the Entrepreneur:
    1) Favorite Book: 
    Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini; Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
    2) Favorite Food:
    Thai green curry; Khichdi
    3) Favorite Movie:
    Cinderella Man/Life is Beautiful
    4) Who inspires you: Almost everyone who lost and stood back up on their feet
    5) How can your customers buy your products: 
    gogreenbug.com and Amazon.in/saheli
    6) Your social media pages: 
    Facebook, Twitter

Superhero Of Startup: Awanish & Ashwini- Autobot India

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“Startup” may be a small word but it signifies a long story of effort, persistence and most importantly passion. We at TBS Planet, believe that every founder is a superhero and every startup has a story that could inspire people all around the planet. So today, in our Superhero of Startup series we are featuring Autobot India.

1) Please tell us little about yourself.

AUTOBOT INDIA (ABI) is an emerging global company offering cutting edge 360-degree professional training solutions for corporates, academics and racing competitions. ABI offers specialized and tailor-made services in higher education and practical learning approach (PLA) solutions for the academics worldwide.

ABI serves in very diverse form of technical and educational training programs for both corporate and academics.

We are specialized in Green Energy and Electric Vehicle Technology Solutions.

VISION: To stay innovative, sustainable and revamping practical learning approach

Mission:

  • M2020 – To promote and establish MAKERS concept among the learning communities worldwide
  • M2025 – To make India as prominent R&D destination
  • M2030 – To revamp theory led education system into practical driven education structure. Integrating PLA and AERIC models across every academic in India.

                                   

2) Please tell us about your startup and products.

We’re unique, innovative with sustainable model to redesign the education learning process in India as well worldwide with an objective to create industry ready manpower, establishing R&D culture in academics and Tech-entrepreneurship.

ABI offers highly customized industry ready programs in the following domains:

EDUCATION-

  • Automotive Design and Development
  • E-mobility
  • Energy Storage Solutions
  • AI and Machine Learning
  • Industrial Automation
  • Robotics and Embedded system
  • Defence
  • Aviation

Making Indian educational institutes competing with International universities on of quality of education, academic R&D, patents through our Practical Learning Approach (PLA) model.

3) What are the further plans?

We are dedicated to bring new waves of fresh ideas, innovations at academic level integrating industry mentorship, sponsorship for the student’s own future projects.

4) One-line advice for budding entrepreneurs 

“To identify the problem statement and make the sustainable solution rather just having a great idea”

5) Quick Trivia around the Entrepreneur:

Favorite Book: Strength Finder – BY  TOM RATH & GALLUP Who inspires you: Jack Maa and Mr. Pankaj Dubey (M.D & CEO of Polaris India)
Favorite Food: North Indian cuisine Website: edu.autobotindia.com
Favorite Movie: Transformer Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/autobotindiaedu/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AutobotInd

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/autobotindiaedu/

 

Superhero Of Startup:Saurabh-Innolabz

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Every Startup involves a great idea and a great effort of people working for it. In our series of Superhero of Startup today the Superhero badge goes to Innolabz which is bringing a much-awaited change in Education.

1)Tell us something about you and your startup?

INNOLABZ is a company which is bringing about the change awaited by everyone. We have researched about the situation of the education system in India and found such loopholes which need to be fixed. What is acquired by students is not what is needed in the market. Apart from education, we focus on entrepreneurship, offering mentorship and incubation to the budding entrepreneurs.

My hometown is Mathura, and I belong to a normal middle-class family. My father is a banker and mother is a teacher by profession. I did my B.Tech from Skyline College, Greater Noida, and MBA from BIMTECH, Greater Noida. I worked with Jindal Steel, OYO Rooms etc. But somewhere deep inside, there was an ambition of becoming an entrepreneur and help change the scenario of education in the country.

2)What was your motivation behind venturing into this?

Education is very necessary for a child, it not only nurtures one’s thought process but shapes one’s perspective and decisions. But if we see the situation of the education system, significant amendments need to be made. While I tried to explore different career options after graduation, my search took me to higher education, but if this was the case were those placement drives in college a blindfold we could not see through?  If a candidate was lacking required skills why this cover of placement was used by colleges at the time of admissions? I researched for about 5 years and took an initiative to see to the problem, that initiative grew up to our expectations and became Innolabz.

3)Give us a brief background about the founder and its core team member?

Well, I am Saurabh Chaturvedi, the Founder, and CEO of Innolabz, and the co-founder of the company is my very good friend MalvicaSaxena. She is from an academic background and has researched a lot over the issues related to education. Apart from this, we have a team of 12 self-motivated people who all are passionately holding different posts and working with complete dedication.

4)Who do you see as competition and how is your startup different?

Frankly Speaking, I don’t believe in competition. I believe that one should excel in what they do and collaboration is the key to growth and harmony. We have Udemy, Talentedge etc. which can be termed as our direct competitors but what has been offered by them is just a glimpse of what we have on our platter.

5)What are the revenues and margins like in your industry?

The motive is of bringing about a change, but yeah we are not a non-profit entity. We do have revenue models but anticipating anything in the education industry is really silly. The regular advancements in technology and corporate add to challenges as well as the margins. If you take training on a thing like Java or PHP for which there are n number of trainers available, it is not going to be anywhere near to the training for blockchain or cryptocurrency or data science. A workshop that requires specific tools and machines can’t be compared with one that requires nothing but your laptop.

6)What are your future plans?

Expansion for sure. We are spreading our wings and aiming the sky. We already have covered six cities and have received requests to collaborate from companies located in Mumbai, Pune etc. Meanwhile being there in IIT Kharagpur and XLRI Jamshedpur is a clear indication of what we aspire.

7)Any advice you want to give budding entrepreneurs.

Learn, Yearn, and Earn. More importantly, believe in yourself and your dreams. If you can think of it, you can make it happen, it all depends on how earnestly you try.

 

 

 

 

 

Superhero Of Startup:Mohit-Youth buzz

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Startup culture is taking a boom in every field.Tthe best Startup aims to provide a better facility and what could be better than providing students with proper guidance. Today in our series of Superhero of Startup we have team Youth buzz who actually does that and helps students to explore new territory for better career opportunities.

So let’s hear it from them.

  1. Tell us something about you and your startup.

I am a mechanical engineer graduate by education, a guitarist by hobby and love to work on implementing new technologies.

My startup is called the Youth buzz which helps students find education and take admission.

We use virtual reality technology to make students and parents feel studying in a college that they are looking forward to and by doing so we help them overcome the fear of exploring a new territory for better career opportunities and by the end of them, make them take the leap of faith.

  1. What was your motivation behind venturing into this?

There happened two incidents in my own life that made me work for the idea around my startup.

The first one happened when after completing my class 12th education with horrible marks I was left with very limited options for my future career.

I had to leave my town and go to a place called Greater Noida and take admission there.

While I was getting ready to do the required a lot of well-wishers approached me and suggested me to do something else in life because they said greater Noida is a very hostile place where you won’t find people for miles and colleges are made in distant places.

But when I finally reached greater Noida I found those stories to lie and actually found the place much better than my hometown in many perspectives.

The second one happened around the time after I completed my college education.

One of my knowns offered me to join his venture in Kazakhstan.

I was ready to go but my guardians didn’t allow me to because for them any place name ending with stan is equivalent to Pakistan & Afghanistan in terms of hostility.

But when I showed them videos of Kazakhstan, they totally changed their opinion.

It was then I felt there is a need to show the actual and complete truth to aspirants so that they don’t miss any opportunity in their life just for the word of mouth.

  1. Give us a brief background about founders and its core team members?

I founded the startup in 2013 along with my college friends who later on went for other career options.

Right now I am fortunate to be joined by:-

Amit Kumar, a college friend and dropout who looks after the tech part of our company.

Amar Sharma, my cousin and the man behind success of smart classes in northern Indian states of UP and MP

And thirdly

Syed A Hussain, an educationist working in career counselling since a decade and has helped more than 2000 students in getting a better education.

  1. Who do you see as competition and how is your startup different?

Siksha.com and career 360

We are different as we are global, we also report about activities happening in colleges and help them know throughout the year truth about a campus and the virtual reality experience of attending a college far far away is something we haven’t seen any one doing lately on the block.

 

  1. What are the revenues and margins like in your industry?

Education is one of the most futile industries in the world along with education.

One with a big amount of money and that survives even hard times like recession since you can’t compromise on necessary things in life like a luxury.

The subdomain of facilitating the global education business we are targeting at the method we are applying is first of its kind.

Margins are as big as 4 digit dollar figures minimum in each ticket being closed.

  1. What are your future plans?

To bring teachers and faculties of distant campuses home to every user regardless of time and coordinate difference.

  1. Any advice you want to give budding entrepreneurs.

Don’t freelance your MVP.

A freelanced MVP is like life support system,it can only shift a patient from ICU to general ward needing more time to heal and actually be productive.

Brainchild should be born in general ward itself.

Hence form the entire team for MVP, NO TO FREELANCING MVP.

Superhero With Ink:Erin-A Kootenay Flower in Foreign Soil

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Every writer across the globe have a lot to share with people all around. So today in our series of Superhero with Ink we have Ering whose words are like the words of healing.

Let’s hear it from her!

1) Tell us about your recent book.

I tend to do a lot of events, so I thought it would be good to have a book that I could give or sell to people when I was asked for one, so I self-published the chapbook “A Kootenay Flower in Foreign Soil”.  I didn’t really have a theme in mind when I was selecting the poems.  I just knew that when I created it, I wanted it to be a reflection of me as a person and a poet, and I wanted it to demonstrate my range as word artist, so I tried to include works that were not related to each other in terms of form or content.  There is definitely one or two poems that I would leave out if I could do it over again, but I think there is something in there for everyone to enjoy as well, which is not bad for a first book.

2) Can you share little details about your background?

I grew up in a small town with a father who loved nature and politics and a mother who wrote protest songs, and songs about navigating your way through life’s emotional moments.  I was born in Saskatchewan, and apparently even lived in a commune there with my parents as a toddler.  My father worked at a job where he helped employees of various companies to form unions, and on the side, he assisted a First Nation’s organization in fighting for their land and treaty rights.  Even the music and nature were a huge part of my life at events we attended in the First Nation’s community and in other parts of our community, but when I was about six we took a vacation to the Kootenays.  While my mom was sleeping in at the Ainsworth motel, I and my Dad drove to Kaslo and bought a house.  Two months later we were all residents of Kaslo B.C., and my parents still live in my childhood home.

It was definitely an adjustment for my mother; a bonafide city girl who was told by a colourful local she asked shortly after our arrival that the population of her new community consisted of : “500 people, 500 hippies and 1000 dogs”.  I can’t say that local was completely wrong, some of my friends, when I was a kid, were the random dogs, whose names everyone knew, that walked themselves around town whenever they wanted.  Still, you only have to spend five minutes in Kaslo to understand that you are somewhere sacred.  The actual population has always hovered around 1500 people, so not a lot goes on, but in a village nestled in a valley on Kootenay Lake, no one really cares about that.  I spent my teen years exploring the surrounding mountains, rivers, marshes and lakes; finding out who I was to the tune of guitars and bongo drums played long into the night around beach bonfires.

I moved to Kelowna at the age seventeen, and began pursuing my education while supporting myself as a waitress.  Kaslo is a predominantly white community, so it was good to get out and see the diversity that actually makes up our world, even if Kelowna is one of the more homogenized cities in B.C.  Eventually I met a boy from Castlegar—also a small community in the Kootenays—andwe moved to Prince George together to get educated so we could move back to the Kootenays and raise a family together, but we all know real life fairy tales rarely come true.  Even though we are still friends, that relationship ended a long time ago.  He moved to Vancouver to pursue his career as an electrician, and I stayed behind to finish my education.

Prince George was originally a four year plan that turned into ten plus years of ups and downs, and me reconnecting with the girl who wrote poetry on the Lighthouse Beach in Kaslo B.C.; reconnecting with myself.  It turns out I am the Kootenay flower in foreign soil, and even though I plan to leave Prince George in 2019, I will always be so grateful for the experiences I’ve had here and the First Nations and artistic community I have connected with.  I think even though there is tension from the issues that come with living on someone else’s land, I for one am really

grateful for the strong influence the First Nation’s people in this area have on the culture of Prince George.  It brought back so many memories for me of events I attended with my dad as a kid that involved music and dancing and food and so much celebration.  I am glad Prince George reconnected me to the part of myself that was shaped by those early experiences.

 

I guess a part of my artistic background I should also mention is the fact that when I was a kid my mom and I used to perform as a folk singing duet, and we even made an album called “Voices of Change, by Erin and Gail.”  I wrote and co-wrote one of the songs on the album before I turned eight.  I think I was about ten when we recorded it together in the nearby community of Argenta, which is actually smaller than Kaslo, and no longer has a recording studio.

 

I hadn’t thought about that album much until recently, but it came up that I sang once, and again I was asked, so I burned some copies and gave them away to friends and some of the students I worked with at my tutoring job.  That has led to some unexpected experiences including a drunken sing along with a buddy of mine while we were walking around one night looking for Northern Lights, and an experience I think I will never forget even though it was so simple.  I was about to go grocery shopping when I ran into an ex-student who had come with an exuberant personality and expressed a liking for the album shortly after I gave it to her.  Two years later she started singing “Round and Round” to me in the parking lot of our local Superstore, which is an incredible song my mother wrote from our album.  That really touched me, and even though I’m not as musical anymore, it really reminded  me why I write and perform.

 

Even though music is not my career choice at the moment, I also collaborated with Doug Koyama when I asked him to put my poem “Time to Stand” up to music.  Doug Koyama, in case you don’t know, is better known as Doug ‘the hug’ Koyama.  As well as a talent for giving hugs, he is an incredible singer who uses a loop machine to make music with his voice that he then adds empowering lyrics to.  I would never have thought to take “Time to Stand Up” to the place that Doug did, and I’m so glad he did because it has helped us to raise money and awareness for the Standing Rock Water Protectors in South Dakota.  Water is life, and I write to bring important messages like that to a wider audience.  Given my background, I think it’s pretty obvious that was inevitable (lol).  If you want to check out our song, and support a great cause you can buy it from Doug’s bandcamp page at:

https://dougkoyama.bandcamp.com/album/standing-up

3) What motivated you to write this book?

 

My creative side kind of took a break while I was writing academic papers at university.  I produced some great stuff in my creative writing classes, but overall wasn’t producing the quantity or kind and quality of work I had as a teenager.  I experienced a small resurgence when I turned thirty and decided it was time to put my education to work and give up waitressing.  I ended up having a period where I wasn’t employed at all.  In that time I took a trip to Kaslo, and on the drive back with my friend I got half way through writing a novella about a young girl finding herself and negotiating a more mature relationship with her mother.  It made the finals in a screenwriting contest, and the overall experience reminded me that writing isn’t something I want to do: I write so my soul doesn’t die.

 

I am only now nearing the end of my educational pursuits, and still paying off debt for my education, but I had about 400 poems and three stories just sitting there, so I decided to start promoting myself.  I got a gig at a music festival, and realized I had to have some kind of promotional material to leave people with besides a piece of paper, and I work at a place where I have cheap access to a photocopier, so I put together my book.  The cover photo is one I took with my phone camera behind a mechanics shop near a restaurant I worked at.  Like me, the flower is growing in an odd place, so it seemed fitting.  The photo on the back was taken by my best friend Cheryl Roper, who should be a visual artist, but is happy doing other things.  She is still one of the only people who can take a photo of me that I don’t hate, and I feel like she often captures me on film in a way that no one else can, but I guess thirty years of friendship can have that effect.

 

I do a lot of events now, including workshops, which I think are successful in part due to my educational background, and I have a Facebook page where you can find videos of me reading my poetry at: https://www.facebook.com/erinjbauman/

 

4)What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a few novels, and I am starting to put together my second chapbook called “Wordpower”, which will feature my pieces that focus on social and environmental justice issues I think we should all pay attention to.  To my surprise I also finished a short story about a young girl shaving her legs for the first time that I really want to see in print.  I started thinking about how you could incorporate activist philosophies into things that weren’t poetry, and it just poured out of me last Saturday morning.  The only reason I was surprised is because I am currently taking two online courses, and working two non-writing related jobs, on top of being active in two social justice organizations in my community.  It’s a pretty busy time for me, and now that I have started promoting myself I get asked to do a lot more events, so I have to confess I haven’t written a lot of anything this year besides that story and a few poems that I am pretty happy with(lol).  I also lost both of my dogs this year.  They were fourteen and fifteen, and along with the cat I still have, they were the loves of my life.  I have written some grief stricken ramblings about that, one that made it onto my poetry page, but not really much I want to, or should, really use in public.  I write at least one morning page every day to keep my writing muscle active though, and after last weekend I am confident I’ll make some serious headway on my novel during my time off this summer.

5) When did you start writing?

My mom tells me I used to dictate stories to her on long bus rides around Saskatchewan when I was three, but the first thing I really remember writing was a poem that got posted in the hallway of my school when I was about eight.  It was about being an abused kid, even though my childhood was much more wholesome than a lot of people’s were, and not what I would in any way term abusive.  I remember seeing my name on the wall underneath my words, and having people tell me how I had inspired them to think about the issue, and I was hooked.

6) Which writers inspire you the most?

Jerry Spinelli, Jerry Spinelli, and Jerry Spinelli (lol).  Seriously though, I really enjoy the way Amy Tan develops her characters.  You really fall in love with them, and get invested in their stories.  I also loved ArhundatiRoys first novel “God Of Small Things”, and I am so glad she is writing fiction again after such a long hiatus, but no one is Jerry Spinelli.  I have about fifteen of his books for children and young adults, I have read them all, and I don’t know if he intends to, but he writes in a conversational style that makes you feel like you are a part of the action.  He also doesn’t assume kids are stupid, or try to play to their unfortunately budding consumeristic sides.  He writes about real issues like race, poverty, being an orphan, and just plain trying to be a kid and grow up in ways that are so insightful and funny that if you don’t laugh and cry your way through his novels you must be robot.

 

I should read more poetry, considering that’s my focus in regards to writing, but I honestly don’t.  One of my friends recently gave me a Pat Lowther book I’m really enjoying, but

Marge Piercy wrote pretty much all my favorite poems.  Her book Living in the Open really showed me how much emotion and expression you can fit into basically the space of a paragraph, and reading it as a teen really cemented my love of poetry and my desire to create emotional and significant pieces like hers.  I would have to say Brad Cran’s poem “Death of a Friend by Overdose” is my all-time favorite poem though, as I had a few friends die from drug related incidents or accidents, and that poem made me feel like someone understood what I was feeling.

 

 

7) Any future projects you are working on.

I am working on a retelling of the lives of some biblical characters.  It is a story that has been in my head for about ten years, and probably won’t be completely on paper for at least five more, and I really want to shock everyone when it comes out, so I won’t say more right now.  In the meantime I plan to transition into my full time writing career by continuing to host, organize and perform at events and workshops, as that seems to be working really well for me at the moment, and I love inspiring others to write or be creative.

8) What are your hobbies?

I think I would have to say trying new creative things is a hobby of mine.  I have a lot of hobbies that come and go alongside writing.  I recently grabbed my childhood ukulele from my parent’s house, and once I can afford to restring it I am going to pick it up and see what happens.  I do yoga at least five days a week by myself in the morning, and I’m pretty sure my soul would also die if I stopped doing so.  I also meditate every morning.  I started drawing with charcoal to make visual expressions of some of my poems awhile ago, and the cover illustration on WordPower is something I drew myself.  I wouldn’t call myself a visual artist by any means, but the image gets my point across, and that’s what really matters.  I like Lynda Barry’s philosophies on creativity, and I would have to say she also influences my written, and other, artwork.

I once made a floor length skirt for myself out of the top off of an old pair of jeans and t-shirt patches from old shirts of mine and my friends, and I have a few other pieces of clothing I’m making for myself.  Like my novel, one of them has been ten years in the making, and I’m still not sure when I’ll wear it as I sew by hand which takes motivation and patience.  In the summer I hike and camp and hula hoop dance between all the free outdoor music I am lucky enough to experience in my community.  I have skates and skis I’ve used in winter too, but my non-writing-related -jobs are only open in the winter, so I tend to be pretty busy during those months and not active in a lot of hobbies.

9)Is there any book you personally love and would recommend all the readers? 

My favorite book would have to be Maniac Mageeor maybe Eggs, both by Jerry Spinelli.  Maniac Magee was the first one of his books I read.  It’s the story of a young orphan boy confronting racism in others, and also confronting the walls he has learned to build around himself for other reasons.  It changed my life in so many ways, including making me want to write poems and stories.  I’ve also read it to and with a lot of kids, and on way more than one occasion I saw that “so this is why people like reading” light go off.  A thirteen year old boy tracked me down to finish the last ten pages, as his teacher had not allotted proper time for this in class.  If that isn’t a testament to excellence on Spinelli’s part, I don’t know what is.  I think I also learn something new every time I read it, and last year I wrote a poem about its impact on my life called “Lessons from a Legend”

One of the things I love about Eggs is that in reading the jacket I learned that Mr. Spinelli started the book, and then forgot about it for ten years in a closet until his wife asked him about it one day.  He pulled it out and added a brilliant finish.  He blows me away with the depth of emotion and character development that draws you into his stories.  He definitely understands how to use metaphors and other forms of figurative language throughout his books, but hisstyle is still not too complex for the average reader either.

10) Any advice for budding writers.

Read your work, talk about your work, send it out, then talk about it more.  Always be talking about your work, and have samples to give away.  Definitely don’t give away too much, but have some pieces ready for this purpose, and be willing to do some reading for free in the beginning to build experience.